Gartner: 91% of enterprise architecture efforts don't involve business collaboration

Gartner: 91% of enterprise architecture efforts don't involve business collaboration

Summary: Enterprise architecture is supposed to be all about IT-business collaboration. At least one analyst says this has yet to happen in a big way.

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TOPICS: CXO, IT Priorities
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Enterprise architecture is supposed to be about providing a technology roadmap for the business, and EAs serve as the facilitators and "translators" between IT and business teams.

Now, Gartner is saying that most EA efforts haven't reached that stage yet.  In fact, only 9 percent work closely with the business, while the rest are still focused on internal IT optimization.  (Thanks to ebizQ colleague Peter Schooff for the pointer to the Gartner release. Peter is also hosting an open discussion forum on this topic.)

Is this true? Is enterprise architecture still a function contained within IT departments, rarely seeing collaboration with the overall business?

Gartner analyst Betsy Burton says the enterprise architects themselves are moving in this direction. EA has passed a "tipping point," and is increasingly being recognized as an essential business function. "The majority of EA practitioners are aspiring to leverage EA to enable business value, growth and transformation, not only to drive IT decisions," she says.

But the percentage of organizations leveraging EA this way will only reach 30 percent in the next five years. Burton says that's a positive trend, but that still means six out of ten EA efforts will still not be collaborating with the business.

Is this over-optimistic? Or is Gartner overlooking the progress EA has made in recent years?

Topics: CXO, IT Priorities

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8 comments
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  • Shocking

    I saw this 20 years ago. I thought by now those running large enterprises would understand the importance of IT in their business and MAKE SURE those is charge of EA would be intimately familiar with both current and expected future needs of the business.

    Am I missing something here?
    Economister
    • RE: Gartner: 91% of enterprise architects don't collaborate with the business

      @Economister <br>Nope, you haven't missed anything and thats how it is and majority of organizations have not separate CTO from CIO. A lot of organizations have no clue about the differences or the fine line between those roles, so forget about EA.
      Ram U
  • Nobody in business understands this architecture stuff

    and I suspect that not many people in IT do either...

    I suspect that the less architecture you have the more likely you are to be doing something useful for the business. Most "architecture" efforts are about technical implementation not the real business requirements.

    There is logic and there is logic (data is logic too) - how it is implemented should stay out of the way of the business.
    jorwell
    • RE: Gartner: 91% of enterprise architects don't collaborate with the business

      @jorwell,
      "I suspect that the less architecture you have the more likely you are to be doing something useful for the business. Most "architecture" efforts are about technical implementation not the real business requirements."

      Architecture often involves shared functionality among different applications that run in the same framework. Most IT development shops have these kind of things to improve quality and reduce costs. These these are things that are useful to the business.
      bmonsterman
      • Not sure about that

        @bmonsterman

        But do business people care or need to know that there are different applications that share functionality?

        If you want a single logical layer that hides all the physical complexity there are better established and more consistent approaches than SOA.

        Effectively SOA is a distributed architecture and nobody has solved the problems of how to do distributed in a logically consistent way yet. I suspect that many of SOAs successes are down to not really using SOA at all.
        jorwell
  • RE: Gartner: 91% of enterprise architects don't collaborate with the business

    Largely true, but I've worked with some EAs who fully fit this definition, even if their title was Systems Architect instead.
    andrewbadera
  • RE: Gartner: 91% of enterprise architects don't collaborate with the business

    Honestly, the business is not focused on the "how", they are focused on the "what".
    bmonsterman
    • Couldn't agree more

      @bmonsterman

      IT need to buy more into this mindset.
      jorwell